Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A to Z of Marketing: D - Design

Design. In my opinion, design is one of the major drivers of great marketing. In fact, it separates the good from the great.

Ahhh, great design! We know it when we experience it! And conversely, when something is poorly designed, its flaws seem to scream at us.

Cheap! Who cares!
Made in a hurry!
Not concerned about quality! Who cares about customer satisfaction! Lacking talent or professionalism!

Design is the art of making things more pleasing and more effective. Design is beauty and creativity. Design subtly, but in its impossible to miss manner, says to us:
Greatness resides here! Passion too!
Customer focused!
Pride, caring and quality minded! Made from the heart!
Worthwhile ... and worth it!

Design is so essentially human. It cannot be automated. No computer can approximate good design. Yes, there are some templates on the Web that allow us to add colors, shapes and symbols; none of that comes close to truly great design.

Design is not just pretty pictures. No, it is way more than that. Design is a well crafted product. Design is what makes great service a great experience. Design is a tool that fits the hand just right. Design is not having to read the instruction manual. (Though when you do, a great cover, intuitive layout and easily found answers are products of great design, too.) And how many of you, if you're like me, derive joy from great packaging design?

I have the pleasure and privilege of working with four extremely talented designers. They inspire. They envision. They create. They are artists who add value (or create value) to our deliverables. Their touches are what make our work look like a million bucks!

Tom Peters, in his book Re-imagine!, calls design "The Soul of the New Enterprise. " He is absolutely right. Tom also explains in incredibly articulate fashion, "Design is the number one determinant of whether a product-service-experience stands out--or does not." Today, no business cannot afford not to stand out. Not you. Not me. Business is too competitive.

Recall the first law of marketing: perception is reality.

How your business will be perceived? Marketing geniuses do not have to wonder. They know the importance and the effectiveness of investing in design as part of their marketing program. Design is marketing. Marketing thrives on design.

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